"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Success Checklist--How Would Your Blog Measure Up?

There's no denying that creating and maintaining a successful blog today is tough work.
There's fierce competition for today's reader's time.
There's the challenge of staying consistent through crappy times. :-)
There are the countless hours of crafting original content, in observance of the cardinal rule "content is king."

And did I mention connecting with folks through social media forums to promote your work?
Still, truth be told, many are clueless as to what counts with readers, and how to get a greater return on their sweat equity.

Besides analytics, how do you know if your blog is bodacious? Or even "book-mark" worthy? And if you're just starting out, how can you predict future success?

After three years of professional blogging at this site, and studying the numerous great blogs throughout the blogosphere, here are some commonalities and criteria to objectively assess your blog's status and general "fab factor".

1. Your readership is growing.
Did you start out with just your mom, your cat, and your Avon lady, but now you have a dozen "followers"? Even a little growth indicates you're on the right track.

2. You have commenters.
Though some would argue that comments are not a barometer for blog success, I would beg to differ. Blogs are by nature intended to be an interactive medium.
Comments demonstrate the ability to connect with others and to cultivate a sense of community.

3. You get requests for guest posts.
Outside interest for work to appear on your site, typically means that others view your spot as worth reading, and a positive reflection through association.

4. You update your blog regularly.
Sure, anybody can bang out a blog post every blue moon, but to go the distance and be truly successful, you should post minimally once a week.

5. You provide a good "user" experience.
Are comments typically positive? Do folks link to your site and "Tweet" when you speak? Is your site easy to navigate with key pages and easy to read fonts?
How about a clear photo reflecting your image and an "About" page?
These are things to consider.

Though opinions vary in terms of what makes for a "successful" site, these five factors carry great weight in achieving a winning blog!

Thoughts? How did you measure up? Anything to add?

Image: Stock photo


  1. Jennifer,

    Your checklist was very useful for me, and caused me to think about how my blog is measuring up. I am thankful and feel blessed, because so far, my readership is growing and I have had favorable comments. A very well known poet also agreed to guest post from time to time,in the form of "letters from" and so far, she has done one, so all in all,not bad for a blog not yet two years old. What continues to fascinate me is the location of my viewers. Where I fall down though, is the frequency of my posts, but I aim to improve on this area. Great food for thought from you today. Have a great weekend.

  2. Yasmin,

    So glad to be of help. It sounds as if you're on the "write" track. And certainly, your great poetry deserves a large audience. :-) Be well.

  3. Started sporadic blogging in 07. In January as an exercise in discipline I committed to the 365 blog challenge -posting once a day. I did 2 identical posts on blogger tied to Facebook and Wordpress tied to twitter.

    I started posting mostly haiku and other short prose and suddenly I was getting lots of likes and some thoughtful comments. And omg followers 137 on WP 31 on blogger. Even getting followers on twitter. Poetry - who knew.

    As I said I did this for me and beyond compiling and publishing a chapbook or 2. Haven't decided where next 135 posts to go.

  4. Hi Perle,

    Interesting info. Thanks for sharing. I'm looking forward to reading your work. I really love poetry as an art form.

  5. Mmmmm, - Would? - does seem to imply a certain uncertainty about being able to measure up. It's not my aim to measure up, I make my own measure and invent my own 'Math' along the way :)

    Although I do think that being really successfull indeed is somewhat of a challenge, and since there are lot's of other blogs to choose from, I do make an effort to write interesting posts that are easy to read with lot's of blockquotes & subheadings etc. etc. recently I also discovered how to make cool - Borders - around text (see How you can make your blog 'Sticky') Only I don't really care that much about consistancy and updating a blog keeping my posts - Exclusive - and I also don't want to put in to many hours especially on Blogs where there is less readers feedback.

    Although now on several of my blogs did see a pretty amazing explosive growth in the amount of visitors about +400% growth, only I didn't yet look at the amount of return visitors and things like that that carefully yet. On several of my blogs I now also begin to see a little more Commenting and positive comments.

    Hopefully many visitors will discover the newly installed Top 3 Bestseller Lists on my Blogs and buy those products so that I can afford to hire an editor to make the quality of my blogs more attractive for Guest Posters.

  6. Jennifer Brown BanksAugust 18, 2012 at 8:38 AM


    Your comments are always enlightening (and entertaining). :-) I appreciate your time and thoughts.

  7. Thanks for encouraging us to stay on the positive side. Never looked at it so, but indeed going from "mom, your cat, and your Avon lady .....to a dozen "followers," is growth.

  8. Jennifer Brown BanksAugust 19, 2012 at 3:43 PM


    Welcome! It is indeed my pleasure. Thank you for YOUR encouraging words. Stay in touch. :-)

  9. I agree, these five factors are key. Then too, as you mentioned, your own personality and "flavor" boost it even more. Good stuff, Jen! Thanks for sharing. :)

  10. Jennifer Brown BanksAugust 20, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Hi Karen,

    Good to hear from you! I appreciate your time and input.